Political stalls banned at inaugural Caerphilly Pride event
Rhiannon James, local democracy reporter
Politics is to be kept out of Caerphilly’s first ever Pride event, with no political stalls allowed at the celebration this summer.
Plaid Cymru has been told it can’t have a stall at Pride Caerffili on June 24 – a move that has been criticised by the group’s leader, Councillor Lindsay Whittle.
Caerphilly County Borough Council said it has “a long-standing policy” not to allow political party stalls/exhibitions at council-run events.
Cllr Whittle, who represents Penyrheol, has asked the council to reconsider the policy and review its decision to “ban” the stalls.
He described the event as a “wonderful idea” but added: “I’m really disappointed at the ruling which hardly smacks of being inclusive.
“Allowing all political parties to host stalls would not mean the council is somehow breaching its neutrality ruling, I believe.”
In response to a letter from Cllr Whittle, council chief executive Christina Harrhy said: “As this is a council-led event, it is important that the council remains neutral and as such I have advised the leader that the policy position remains in place.
“If you wish for the policy position to change this would need to be via a cabinet decision.”
Deputy leader Jamie Pritchard said Pride Caerffili is a council-run event and is non-political.
He added: “We’re very much looking forward to Pride Caerffili. The event has been widely welcomed, with many people working hard over many months to ensure the day goes well for all those attending.
“I welcome Cllr Whittle’s support for the event, and I look forward to seeing many people in Caerphilly on the day.”
Earlier this year, the council announced it would be hosting its first Pride event. It will be a day-long celebration to recognise LGBTQ+ people’s contribution to society.
The “family-friendly” celebrations will take place on June 24, from 12pm until 7pm and will include live entertainment and an “iconic” Pride parade.
The parade is due to set off from St Martin’s School at 12pm before making its way down through the town and looping around the Twyn car park area where it will finish.
Labour councillor Pritchard said: “We’ve been meeting for several months to consider the planning of the inaugural Pride Caerffili event. We’re confident that it will be an amazing day of live music, entertainment, and celebration as we come together in support of our LGBTQ+ community in Caerphilly County Borough.
“We at CCBC are committed to ensuring Caerphilly County Borough remains an inclusive place to live, work and visit for all, and this event is just one way we can listen to the voices of our LGBTQ+ community.”
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Hopefully it will be an enjoyable day and the natural disagreements that are part of politics can be left outside. However, before and after the event we will no doubt get a lot of agro from the Tories as LGBT is part of their scheduled ‘Hate Groups’ who they will be attacking in the hope of distracting voters away from their economic legacy. There is a good piece on this strategy and how we should respons on the 99% Organisation website [https://99-percent.org/why-so-nasty/]
Any council sponsored community event has to be non-party-political or the licence becomes invalid. If the licence is invalid then so too is the insurance.
I am not surprised that a local councillor is unaware of this, I came across an MP who thought he could just set up a Party stall who didn’t understand when he was told that he could advertise constituency surgeries and advice sessions but not his party.
Kerry,you are a spoil-sport,puncturing all our conspiracy theories by referring to the facts.